Frequently asked questions

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Living data

What is living data?

YouGov has unrivalled, quality data. We have an ever-growing source of constantly evolving, connected intelligence: discover what your customers were thinking yesterday, 5 years ago, and today.

YouGov is committed to collecting proprietary data every day from over 26 million panel members in over 55 markets. This fuels our audience profiling and brand tracking products, meaning we have unrivalled range, depth and connectedness.

We constantly test our accuracy and put our reputation on the line, making many public predictions with knowable outcomes (I.e. elections across the world).

Our record speaks for itself: we are the most quoted market research company in the world, and the go-to choice for accurate polling.

Our data excels in all areas:

  • Precision - requiring large sample sizes
  • Accuracy - requiring representivity and reliable modelling
  • Range - data collected across a range of areas from demographics to opinions, preferences across multiple sectors, media usage across many channels, to behavioral data on a variety of platforms
  • Connectedness - a wide range of data from a single source, where the cross-reference is therefore reliable
  • Depth - requiring a lot of detail collected on a topic

What is zero-party data?

YouGov offers Zero-party data: data that people intentionally and purposefully share. For example: opinions, personal information, purchase intentions, preferred media, brands liked and online histories.

YouGov produces the strongest zero-party data thanks to our explicit and purposeful relationship with over 26 million panel members worldwide.

Zero-party data contrasts first-party data: data generated from behavior on an owners’ platform which they can use for analytics, but not share it without additional permissions inside GDPR. Additional permissions are often given reluctantly or unintentionally.

With YouGov, the data our panel members share is given purposefully and with permission, with the explicit intention of being converted into data that is useful for and shared by others.

Second-party data is another organisation’s data, bought from suppliers. Companies that do not have their own panels and rely on second-party suppliers cannot produce genuinely connected data, and their data cannot be directly applied in the marketing process. It tends to be unreliable.

Our panel

Does YouGov have the best panel?

There are many ways to measure panel quality. However whether a panel can represent populations to a high statistical standard, and reflect full diversity, is of upmost importance.

The Pew Research Center concluded that YouGov “consistently outperforms competitors on accuracy” in ‘Vendor Choice Matters’.

Another hugely important measure of panel quality is the ability to re-contact respondents. YouGov has the highest recontact rates, meaning we can create genuinely connected data at large scale, and build on your research. Ask us for 50% recontacts in a follow-up survey, and you’ll get it. Without high recontact rates, you are just left with the data collected from a single survey, which is not enough.

The third most important measure of panel is size. YouGov has a panel of over 26 million registered members and is working in 55+ markets. Many data suppliers don’t have their own proprietary panel, but instead work with partner vendors or river sampling to boast ‘access’.

YouGov continues to strive to be the biggest, most representative and most connected proprietary panel in the market.

How do you do brand research & tracking?

YouGov’s living data allows you to find your current or prospective customers quickly and efficiently, to ask them what they think and feel about your brand. You can do this in a one-time survey, ask regularly with a custom tracker, or connect to our data products YouGov Profiles and BrandIndex to Plan and Track.

Get the data you need – organised, analysed – for the full picture on how your brand is performing and what can drive your growth.

How do you do CSAT?

Our living data can identify your customers to track satisfaction meaningfully.

YouGov BrandIndex is updated daily, asking recent, current and former customer status, and tracking satisfaction. We can then recontact your customers to ask follow-up questions. You can ask about their recent experiences with your brand, what channels they engaged with you on, how they felt about these interactions and their overall satisfaction. You can gauge their opinion about your brand and whether they’d recommend it. You can also tracking social sentiment online, on social media and product review platforms.

We can help you track customer satisfaction by asking questions, listening to your customers or both, to get useful answers you need to drive change and loyalty. Properly measure the after-effect of your customer's recent experiences, through more than just a pop-up.

How do you do conduct testing?

Just as you target your ads, we target our ad, product and concept testing.
YouGov can choose audiences based on demographics, attitudes, behaviors, and even where they are in the consumer journey.

We measure the impact of ad exposure, look at brand and ad awareness (prompted and unprompted), and pre and post exposure to your creative. We measure the impact of existing relationships, brand and message recall, creative likability and attributes associated with your ads. We also track positivity because of, actions taken following and brand consideration as a result of exposure.

Giving you insights you need to inform your next steps.

How do you do media measurement?

YouGov Profiles measures all channels and provides deep cross-channel planning information, meaning you can understand channels individually or together. See how individual channels contribute to multi-channel campaigns. How much reach do they deliver? What is the impact of that reach? Delve into overall reach of thousands of audiences, defined by our data variables, and further shaped by behavioural, attitudinal and demographic data.

After planning comes activation, where your media is judged on delivery and behavioural and attitudinal change of audiences.
YouGov BrandIndex tracks this. Deep dive into changes in opinions, changes in what people say and hear about your brand and changes in your purchase funnel.

How do you do campaign validation?

Successful campaigns create change. Campaigns need to cut through to resonate and create a response.

  • To cut through means reaching the right people - making them notice and recall your campaign and, ultimately, remember your brand.
  • Resonating means you’ve landed your message and it has been understood.
  • Creating response means affecting change - the change you wanted.

YouGov’s research infrastructure allows us to be adaptive in our methodology. Our wealth of existing living data allows us to create the exact target groups you want to reach, on a granular level. We can track them through your activity and, if your campaign changes at any point, you can easily change the profile targets.

Our campaign evaluation starts with YouGov BrandIndex. Daily tracking of your brand and competitors. With 16 key metrics (such as Awareness, Advertising Awareness, Buzz, perception measures and purchase funnel metrics). With 15+ years of historical data, you can compare data with past campaigns and look at how your competition has fared. Viewing at a national level, see what parts of the purchase funnel your activity is impacting.

Analyse even deeper; ask why customers are reacting as they are, what’s cutting through and what isn’t with trigger questions in BrandIndex.

You can also run your own Custom Tracker alongside BrandIndex: monitor brand specific metrics, look in depth at campaign measures and focus on more niche audiences.

Additionally, you can also split your sample: measure different executions across different platforms, compare the exposed with the non-exposed, understand whether your campaign is working (by how much, how and with whom).

How do you measure corporate reputation?

YouGov speaks to corporations’ most influential stakeholders - those who shape its operating environment. This includes politicians, the media and NGOs. From here, we quantify these groups’ views on how the corporation operates; from the values it expounds to the specific activities it undertakes. We then combine this with the preferred future actions they want to see from such organisations.

Clients can then be guided towards how to improve their corporate reputations. We repeat this work over time, with these influencers, and when combined with other proxies (see YouGov CorporateIndex), this enables us to track changes.

We understand that it’s important to place corporate reputation in a localised context. Assessing at the organisation’s competitive situation, and looking at its peer group and the wider social and political environment, ensures we provide holistic metrics. Measurement that remains relevant, impactful, and dynamic over time.

YouGov has special strengths in this area: we can reach high-level figures in politics, the media and NGOs, thanks to our work and reputation.

Our extensive existing public opinion data about corporates means we can also identify relevant influencers in our panel who can provide insight into their particular angle, for unique additional insight.

How are attitudes to ESG changing?

Solidify your reputation and futureproof your business, by measuring and adapting to shifting behaviors and changing attitudes. Use YouGov research to understand what really matters to your audience, for the planet.

ESG has moved from the margins to now be front and centre. Companies want it and consumers expect it – it can no longer be just a good intention, attitude or slogan, but needs to be a series of demonstrable, behavioral actions.

YouGov measures and tracks attitudes and behaviors, and the intersection of the two. We don’t just run a conventional survey for ESG, but use IRT to measure the emotional response. This means we can provide real insight into what are deeply held beliefs vs superficial views: when green attitudes become green behaviors,when climate anxiety turns into climate action, which brands are winning in the new green economy, and which are failing to adapt to the new environment.

What is the Implicit Reaction Test?

Conventional surveys ask questions and aggregate responses, generating useful data. But there is often a missing dimension: what is the emotional depth of the response? Sometimes that matters as much as the choice of option. For example, it’s useful to know that most people think we should recycle more. But how important is it to them, really? We hold many opinions, but we only act on some of them.

Implicit Reaction Tests try to get at the depth of a response by using an additional measure, not just the choice of option. For example, the speed of choosing the option. Research shows that something we have thought about and which matters to us makes us react faster when clicking on the option than something we’ve hardly thought about, or don’t care much about.

When you organise questions and options in a standardised way, with only one variable in the choice, and you then record a very clear difference in the aggregate response time, it tells you something more. We cannot be certain about the exact meaning, but it’s highly suggestive that the issue has higher salience and provokes stronger emotions. Using this method repeatedly and with expertise allows us to add this extra dimension to our analysis.

What behavioral data does YouGov track?

We have three key forms of non-survey data:

YouGov Finance aggregates verified financial transactions to unlock consumer spending habits and financial market trends.

YouGov Safe tracks online behavior across search queries, streaming platforms, shopping purchases and more.

YouGov Signal measures online sentiment across social media platforms, with natural language processions.

What data do you have for ad targeting?

We can create almost any audience that a brand (or their media agency) needs, thanks to the scale of our proprietary panel and our living data. Any connected YouGov data can be used to build an audience for ad targeting.
Clients can run bespoke research and use it to create an addressable audience or choose from a wide range of self-service audiences (spanning demographics to brand preferences) available right now through our partner network.

How are YouGov audiences for ad targeting created?

We work alongside a number of major partners from the ad tech market. These include LiveRamp, Acxiom, Experian, AdForm, Eyeota and Semasio. We maintain a deterministic match with these partners using a variety of data, and send our partners highly accurate, research-based “seed audiences” that are scaled via lookalike modelling and pushed to the buying platform of the client’s choice – Facebook, Google DV360, and The Trade Desk and more.

YouGov products & solutions

Does YouGov have the best tools?

YouGov has created the leading-edge tools in the industry, in keeping with our mission.
No data analysis platform beats YouGov Crunch – for ease, speed and capability in the analysis of very large survey datasets. No other tool allows you to explore survey data in as many combinations, as quickly.

Our behavioral data tools are market leading zero party data innovations.

The engineering behind our tracking and profiling systems (YouGov BrandIndexand YouGov Profiles) can be adapted for efficient custom additions with flexibility and efficiency, getting more value out of our proprietary data for your custom data.

We are continuously developing and improving existing tools as well as releasing new solutions that let marketers do more with their data: YouGov Surveys: Self-serve is a survey building tool that allows granular audience targeting; and YouGov Freewall enables 100% attention and viewability with engagement-led advertising.

What is YouGov Crunch?

YouGov Crunch is our leading-edge data analysis platform, transforming how clients interact with survey data.
It makes the powerful simple; easy-to-use with drag and drop interface, creating dashboards in minutes, it’s the survey analysis platform for the modern researcher.

YouGov Crunch hosts results from YouGov Profiles data and surveys run by YouGov, and you can also connect third party data. Data can be visualized simply and rapidly for users of all abilities, meaning no more last-minute data requests. 360° analysis 24/7.

What is YouGov BrandIndex?

YouGov BrandIndex is our syndicated brand tracking tool. It includes hundreds of sectors and covers thousands of brands around the globe. We collect data on all of them every day and dashboards are updated daily.

Brand health is assessed across a range of metrics. We measure what people are seeing and hearing about your brand, as well as their consumer journey. From awareness, through consideration, to purchase intent, you can look at customers, ex-customers and your competitors.

We can give you context, comparing your brand to thousands of others, across hundreds of categories, all around the world.

BrandIndex is always on, so you know what is happening to your brand, all the time.

What is YouGov Profiles?

YouGov Profiles is the world’s richest audience dataset. It contains millions of variables and datapoints about our panel, and covers consumers’ whole lives.

Profiles allows users to understand the audiences that matter most. It gives a 360-degree understanding of people: Their thoughts, feelings and attitudes and behaviors.

This data can be analyzed at granular level unrivalled by other tools. Profiles gives you the power to build and customize a portrait of consumers or audiences.

Available in a proprietary, web-enabled visualization platform, you can analyze data easily, meaning users can spend less time organizing data and more time thinking about it.

It enables you to produce insights to underpin and power your communications, and target your audience exactly, on the right channels.

What is Explore, Plan, Activate and Track?

Explore, Plan, Activate and Track is a connected, end-to-end system of products and solutions that work together to provide holistic living data intelligence on YouGov’s 26 million+ registered panel members.

Explore

Understand your audience in granular detail with bespoke surveys, syndicated data, custom research, and more. Get in-depth responses from niche or nationally representative audiences using YouGov Surveys, with service level options available for every budget.

Plan

Know with speed and certainty who your target audience is. Build a complete portrait of your target consumers with YouGov Profiles, using over two million data variables encompassing everything from demographics and media consumption to attitudinal and psychographic statements.

Activate

Create ad campaigns that are guaranteed to be seen by your target audience, with zero budget wastage. With YouGov Audience Data, take your Profiles audience and push a lookalike model of it to any addressable advertising channel. Or use YouGov FreeWall to create literally unmissable in-browser ads with 100% guaranteed ad retention per engagement.

Track

Know with certainty how your brand, campaigns, and competitors are performing on a daily basis. YouGov BrandIndex tracks 27,000+ brands every day, across 55+ major markets worldwide. Benchmark against 16 key brand health metrics including Advertising Awareness, Purchase Intent, and Customer Satisfaction, and pinpoint exactly where your brand wins, and where it needs to improve.

What is YouGov Safe?

YouGov Safe allows you to unlock online consumer behavior and take customer profiling to another level. Get fully permissioned and verified data on what consumers really do online across each of their devices – from search queries to social media interactions, streaming behavior to shopping purchases.

Most companies that hold user or audience data have responded to GDPR by making it ‘portable’ – anyone can download their user history from Google or Facebook or Netflix and a host of other companies very easily. Panelists can then upload this data into their YouGov accounts for rewards.

By taking a panelist’s user history on search, social media and entertainment platforms, and combining it with shared demographic and preference data, we create a highly ethical, transparent product that provides unparalleled insight into cross-platform behaviour – with data that is explicitly shared with us by our panelists for this very purpose.

Results can be accessible in our easy-to-use data tools or commission our expert team to design a custom project.

What is YouGov Signal?

YouGov Signal is our social listening tool where panel members consent to share their social media handles. Natural language processing analyzes online opinion across multiple sources.

We provide a full view of online sentiment by collecting data from all relevant digital and social sources, aggregating and analyzing the statistics into digestible quantitative metrics, and makes them available in one place.

Clients have access to the full range of digital and social data across all social media, search, Wikipedia and news articles across over 45 digital sources, with market-leading natural language processing that translates sentiment into data.

How do you do conjoint analysis?

Conjoint analysis is a special research approach, measuring how consumers value features of products and services.

It uses real-life scenarios and identifies the feature combinations to maximize consumer preference. Market decisions are modelled and predicted using statistical techniques.

Respondents are asked to compare different features, helping determine how they value each one. Companies use this information to develop strategies for products, features and pricing. The typical output is preference – showing potential market share – but survey participants can also be asked volume questions. When directly modelled, we can make sales predictions.
YouGov is uniquely skilled in this volume-based conjoint approach. We’ve forecast future sales with great precision and accuracy.

How do I get a simple survey done instantly?

YouGov Surveys: Self-serve is our most cost-effective rapid research option, with results in as little as an hour.

It’s super simple – in 3 easy steps you can:

Define your audience

Build your questions

Launch your survey

High-quality research couldn’t be easier!

Can I create surveys myself? What support is available?

YouGov Surveys: Self-serve, is our new panel-powered survey building platform. With prices starting from £0.50p/$1.00 per survey complete, it is our fastest and most cost-effective way to survey a target audience.

Survey general population and granular audiences from our market-leading panel in US and GB. Easily select from millions of profiling datapoints to understand exactly what your target audience think.

Build and launch surveys in as little as 10 minutes, with multiple question types available and logic, language and consistency reviewed for free by our team. Watch the results roll in from 24 hours, with 1-hour express option for rapid turnaround.

Extremely easy-to-use, Self-serve is built for non-researchers, offers an easy how-to demo video to take you through the process step-by-step and has detailed FAQs offering best practice advice. The platform also offers a product tour to first-time users, a live chat function and pop-up guidance throughout.

The assistance provided is focused in three areas.

  • Navigating the platform
  • Technical assistance
  • Basic research questions

Client support does not include:

  • Consultation on research approaches
  • Methodologies
  • Recommendations on the best survey approach for a particular research problem

For more researcher support, we recommend our YouGov Surveys: Serviced option.

Can I get support with my research surveys?

Absolutely. YouGov Surveys: Serviced offers fast-turnaround Omnibus and targeted Field & Tab research, supported by our expert researchers.

Work with YouGov’s research team to build and design your survey, ask as many questions as you need, and get detailed insights from ~24 hours. Through an extensive range of representative and targeted samples, you can conduct research in 70+ international markets that can be quoted publicly as YouGov research.

What is public data?

What is public data?

Public data is two things.

First, it is all YouGov data not primarily created for commercial use. It is generated for society at large. Public data informs, educates, and advances our understanding of society, culture, economics, politics and policy.

Second, YouGov offers free commercial proprietary data that is illuminating, but doesn’t have all the detail that market researchers need.

For example, we publish regular brand rankings from YouGov BrandIndex. But not the daily movements and all the demographic detail.

With Ratings, it is similar. We show the profile of audiences for thousands of people, products, brands, and media entities, but not with the all the depth of data available in YouGov Profiles.

At its best, YouGov's public data can help make a world a better place. It empowers citizens, institutions, and countries to make better choices. We help them understand how the world is, and how it is changing.

We provide opinion tracking, regular surveys, accessible visualisation, and in-depth analysis - all for free.

YouGov's public data automated trackers run 52 surveys in key markets. Data points are updated from weekly to annual cadences. They cover everything from COVID-19 to political divisions, and from the national mood to favourite fast foods.

Public data is crucial part of YouGov's own connected data archive. It contains our members’ changing thoughts, opinions, and feelings; millions of respondents in 38 countries, collected over two decades.

This data, alongside other ad-hoc surveys, form our key media partnerships. We are a trusted partner of organisations ranging from Yahoo News to CBS to Reuters.

Taken together, we share a powerful and unique encyclopaedia of public opinion. It represents one of the greatest and free resources for consumers, businesses, and voters. It helps everyone all over the world to understand the world in which we live.

Where is your free data?

Openly publishing public opinion data on matters of public interest is at our heart. It always has been core to YouGov’s mission. Historically, much of this data was on political themes, but in recent years we have covered broader topics and published even more data – for free. It is used the public, students, journalists and academics the world over.

Today, YouGov’s free public data splits into five broad categories:

Data journalism: Content articles written by YouGov’s data journalists, based on YouGov data.

YouGov Ratings:  Quarterly popularity and fame measures. Showing anything from brands to pop stars.

Trackers:  Showing opinion over time. Including topics such as Britain’s mood. And the most important issues facing the US.

Results to one-off surveys:  Showing answers to stand-alone questions and topics.

Most YouGov public data is on our US and UK public data websites, but we are expanding our coverage to other countries.

YouGov Platform: We publish free, lighter versions of our flagship data products for those who register to the YouGov Platform. Data comes from YouGov Profiles – exploring audiences and YouGov BrandIndex – tracking brand perception. The Platform is free to register, so sign up and start exploring our free data or Survey options now.

What is YouGov Ratings?

YouGov Ratings measures the popularity and fame of: people, TV, films, books, events, foods, brands, music. If you want to know how popular or famous something is, YouGov Ratings provides this for free.

We ask our members their opinion on thousands of things, based on a simple standard question. YouGov Ratings then generates fame and popularity league tables, with scores broken down demographically and all weighted to be nationally representative.

All scores are linked to the panel, showing the relationship of all audiences. Special hub pages for each category show these links and correlations.

How does YouGov do Political Research?

YouGov has great sample, great research design, and great analysis.

Political research gets the highest public scrutiny, and YouGov are constantly putting our predictions into the public domain. This means everyone can judge the quality of our work and reliability of our predictions. It is also a proxy for reliability of our market research. Our political polls are some of the most respected in Europe and America. We are the most widely quoted political polling company in the world.

Our samples are superior. We have over one and a half million members on our US and UK panels alone. This scale allows our samples to be more accurate and to go deeper.

As well as age and gender, our political samples account for other crucial variables. Factors like education, past vote, and level of political interest. As with all our market research, we recontact members of our large, engaged panel. This builds multiple layers of data to improve both our predicative power and how representative our sample is.

We also have the right people to use this sample. YouGov’s political research team is one of the world’s largest; a team of experts in questionnaire design and high-level analytics.

Combined, this means we consistently get it right.

How do you engage your panel?

We have two main ways to recruit members.

One way is to ask questions online. We use advertising to ask questions - they can be on hot topics, fun questions, or lifestyle topics such as health. These questions appear across a variety of social media, as well as on websites dedicated to particular topics.

Secondly, we also advertise to those wanting to earn money doing surveys.

In addition to these two approaches, there are other ways people become and stay as members. We have a clear social purpose to our work and we give people feedback on results.

All combined, this gives us a panel that is representative of the population. In addition, we then get lots of demographics from the new joiner surveys and from this, we select perfect samples for formal research.

However, we don’t just use surveys - we also use YouGov Chat. This gives people a less formal way to share data.

Responses for commercial work are always rewarded. YouGov members earn points for every panel survey they take, and they can exchange these for a variety of rewards (which includes cash in nearly all markets).

Members have more control than ever, and we want them to!

Products and services like YouGov Surveys: Self-serve and YouGov Safe encourage more opportunities to earn, while members remain in direct control of what data they choose to share.

We notify our members when their results have been used in the news, so they can see the impact their responses have.

Our research enables members to share their opinion on everything: from hot news issues to the brands, products, people and media they like, they receive a variety of topical and deep-dive questions, mixing commercial and public data surveys.

How do panel members get value from their data?

Panel members interact with YouGov because we give them value for their data – financial rewards, control of their data and contribution to public opinion.

Every commercial survey or task a member does has a small monetary value attached to it. For each survey a member does they get a thank you – on a full survey this might be 75¢, or a smaller payment for completing a shorter task. Panel members can cash out the money in their account.

We give members control over their data – they decide what to do and what they’re comfortable sharing, as well as how their data gets used. Members can select if they’re happy for data to be shared, or just want it to be used by YouGov. If they don’t want to tell us something, they don’t.

The greatest value to many members is that of contributing to, and being a part of public data. Sharing opinions that might be used, our members have ability to influence, see their contribution to results within newspapers, TV or online media, as well as seeing how their views compare to others.
There is huge inherent value in expressing your own opinion, and that’s why about half of our data is contributed for free. For the public good.

How do you ensure data privacy for members?

We take privacy and data security very seriously, firmly believing that people’s personal data should be handled responsibly.

We embrace the principles of the world’s most comprehensive privacy law (GDPR), and have incorporated them into our global operations, as well as complying with and abiding by applicable local market privacy and security obligations. Our approach enables us to have a global privacy framework, giving everyone participating in our research a consistent experience – from how we run our surveys to the rights people have with regards to their data.

We are enthusiastic about citizens controlling their data and understanding the benefits, so treat our panel members and their data correctly. In return they share valuable data with us, for more useful purposes.

To help us to do what is right, we have key privacy principles, including fairness, transparency and choice. We care how our members might feel about our use of data, and every decision we make about data is another chance to reinforce their trust.

What is YouGov’s story?

When YouGov started in May 2000, we were not the first to do online research. But we were the first to do it scientifically.

Before YouGov, online was being used for ‘quick-and-dirty’ data collection. It was seen as useful but not reliable enough for most projects. YouGov was the first to develop an online panel methodology and sampling system that created more accurate election polling results than traditional methods. We replaced flawed ‘random sampling’ methods with high-quality panels, multiple layers of data and advanced modelling – living data.

The new methods were not only more accurate, and could reach more deeply into sub-samples, but opened the door to new types of products. Traditional research treated the survey as a one-off event, limiting the richness of the data that could be used. Even expensive longitudinal research, excellent for tracking change, was limited by the amount that could be asked in every wave.

With YouGov BrandIndex and Profiles, we invented a new methodology, feeding multiple surveys from the same people on a variety of topics over longer periods of time into one vast, connected dataset of Living Consumer Intelligence, all of which can be analysed together in one platform.

With YouGov you can explore data, run additional data, test ideas, plan campaigns, activate them and then track them, all on a single platform.

At the heart of our company is a global online community, where millions of people and thousands of political, cultural and commercial organisations engage in a continuous conversation about their beliefs, behaviors and brands.

SOLUTIONS & PRODUCTS

How we can help you

Case studies

How Allison+Partners used audience insights to inform TikTok’s campaign launch with YouGov RealTime